By Maurice Bobb
VH1's " Love & Hip Hop Atlanta " returned for its third season Monday night, but in spite of the show's usual salacious dirt, oddball hookups and the need for extra security to keep castmembers from "putting hands" on each other, all anyone seemed to want to see was the story line that revolved around Mimi Faust's sex tape .
Did it leak or was it intentionally released on the Interwebs for self-promotional purposes?
And how was Mimi — who has so far portrayed herself as being above all things "ratchet" — going to explain her, um, shower rod acrobatics?
For her part, Mimi did her best Meryl Streep impression, summoning crocodile tears when she "discovered" that her sex tape with boyfriend Nikko Smith had "leaked” to a popular gossip site. Wait, wasn't she supposed to have kicked Mr. Nikko to the curb last season?
Not surprisingly, Mimi was dubbed a porn star by her fellow castmembers, who warned her that Nikko was less than trustworthy, especially since he sold their bedroom/bathroom/shower-rod footage to the highest bidder.
"My friends think he's trouble but I'm having the time of my life," Mimi said earlier in the episode. "I don't care what anybody thinks."
Meanwhile, Wake Flocka Flame joined the cast of the wildly popular VH1 show and viewers met Tammy Rivera, his fiancée of seven months. The "Round of Applause" MC revealed to his betrothed that he hasn't been the most faithful groom-to-be, but vowed to be true, or at least his version of true, going forward.
"Boys make mistakes and men admit their mistakes," Waka said.
Rasheeda doesn't know if she can ever be in a really good place with husband Kirk Frost, but she let him come back home to help raise their newborn son, Carter.
Lil Scrappy is fresh out of rehab and Erica-free. He's now dating/hooping with/smashing a new woman named Bambi (who reality TV die-hards will remember from her stint on "Basketball Wives LA" and a hot-tub cameo on last season's "LHHATL" with Kirk Frost and Benzino). Meddling Momma Dee, of course, warns Scrap that Bambi has another man on the West Coast while also warning Bambi about her own son being a rolling stone.
Then there's Stevie J and Joseline, who are now apparently married (they claim to have gotten hitched at City Hall) and living in an expansive house where Joseline is free to mispronounce “shenanigans” as much as she pleases.
"I'm a lucky guy," Stevie said. "What a life!"
Steebie and Joseline celebrated their birthday together and, surprise, surprise, conflict ensued. Mimi doesn't like that her child's father and her nemesis are (fake) married and Joseline isn't satisfied with her shotgun wedding. Mimi encourages two of her friends to attend the party and spy for her.
Nothing from Benzino on the premiere. But a trailer for season three teases that he's recovering from being shot. No Yung Joc, either but viewers can rest assured that those two will bring the drama when the time comes.
"Love & Hip Hop Atlanta" airs on Monday nights at 8 p.m. on VH1.